The concern of this paper is with the mediatisation of tourism cities through fast circulating narratives on digital platforms in an era characterised as post-truth involving the spread of fake news and disinformation. Hence far, there is scarce knowledge on how misleading information and false rumours concerning terrorism affect the image of tourism cities. In addition, extant research studies predominately concern image in destinations, which are in a permanent state of crisis or war. Less is known of cities that are randomly subjected to terrorist attacks.
The research aim in the paper is therefore to advance the knowledge of the narrative rhythm of the mediatized destination in the aftermath of an actual terror attack in contrast to a false one.
A mixed-methods approach is used to examine the event trend of online search traffic, Twitter data, and news in the aftermath of the Stockholm terror attack, and President Trump’s misleading claim of a non-existing terror attack in the city of Malmö in Sweden during 2015. Emerging narratives in different stages of the course of these events were identified and analysed. In the false case a broad range of stories emerged quickly which tried to establish a dominant narrative of the city. Whereas in the real case, the emerging narratives are more condensed and related to the event.
The study contributes with novel knowledge on the role played by disinformation in the mediatisation of cities. The study raises questions to the need and importance for destination management organisations to handle and respond to disinformation in false events.
- Tvärvetenskapliga studier